Portrait of Hadriaan Beverland Drawing a Sculpture of the Callipygian Venus

Isaac Beckett British
After Simon Du Bois Flemish
Sitter Hadriaan Beverland Dutch

Not on view

Satirical printmaking began in Britain around the time this mezzotint was made and the engraver, Beckett, was one of the first native-born masters of the medium. This image is doubly unusual since commissioned by the subject, a Dutch jurist and scholar, Haadrian Beverland whose licentious reputation is indicated by the fact he sketches a nude Venus surrounded by phallic-shaped obelisks. Beverland's controversial book on original sin, “De Peccato originali” (1678), had led to his expulsion from the University of Leiden and brief imprisonment. After moving to Utrecht, he received warnings for licentious behavior, then left for England in 1679, as secretary to the scholar Isaac Vossius. When this print was made, Beverland had joined the household of John Vaughan, 3rd Earl of Carbery. It suggests, that far from being cowed by his harsh treatment in Holland, he then used classical imagery to shape his repuation and promote the material he studied and wrote about.

Portrait of Hadriaan Beverland Drawing a Sculpture of the Callipygian Venus, Isaac Beckett (British, Kent 1652/53–1719 London), Mezzotint; second state of three

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